RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 17:52:01 BST

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science"

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    Subject: RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 12:52:01 -0400
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    From: "TJ Olney" <>
    > If you think "memetic engineering" doesn't happen, you are sadly mistaken.
    > It is the heart of politics and the soul of commerce. The research
    > of companies, advertising agencies, and public relations firms are
    > I'd bet there are even professionals in all three fields lurking in the
    > membership of this list. Why? Because, science or not, there are
    > practical implications for how to tailor campaigns of any kind to spread
    > points of view and sell products.

    In further support of your comments, I'd add that a scientific understanding
    of memetics can help humanity to avoid the kind of misuse practiced by
    propagandists. The dismissal of memetics by social commentators serves to
    it a more powerful tool in the hands of miscreants (in my meme-ridden

    --J. R.

    I only wish this were true, that academic understanding can rein in abuse.
    We already know, academically, how manipulative comsumerism is on both kids
    and adults, yet nothing is done, at least in the US, to put a damper on it.
    Credit card debt is at an all time high, shopping is promoyed as a
    recreation, and personal savings and investment, in the US, are among the
    lowest per capita in the industrialized world.

    Fortunately, some (smallish) portion of the teen population seem to be
    renouncing consumerism, but it is with no thanks to the academics. It is, I
    beleive based on anecdotal evidence, because they sense the inherent
    unhealthiness of a consumerist orientation.

    - Lawrence

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